About the Photographer
American, b. 1996
Alayna Pernell’s series, Our Mothers' Gardens, was created after the artist spent months researching and uncovering images of Black women held in private and institutional photographic collections. Pernell excavates, re-photographs, re-captions, and re-contextualizes the original works, often inserting her own hands over the images. In place her own body into the images, Pernell is extending a gesture of care to the women in the images who otherwise may not have had agency while the photographs were made or in how they exist in the world today in public view. By engaging with these images, she attempts to rescue and protect the bodies and privacy of the women in the images, while also addressing power dynamics in picture making and collecting.
Alayna Pernell completed her bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama with a degree in Photography and a minor African American Studies (2019) and her master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2021. She is currently an Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was the winner of the 2021 MoCP Snider Prize.